According to survey data compiled by the California Department of Insurance, the major providers of health insurance in the state are delivering a poor level of service to customers who are members of preferred provider organization plans.
Workers in the state are currently reviewing their healthcare options before signing up for another year of enrollment in their PPO plans, which provide healthcare benefits to approximately 2.5 million Californians.
Of the major providers, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Health Net Inc., UnitedHealthcare, and Cigna Corp. all received the lowest possible ratings for their customer service performance with Aetna Inc. receiving only a marginally better designation of “fair.”
Most of the companies were rated as “fair” for the speed with which members were able to see a doctor and to receive the needed medical care. The only provider to receive a rating of “good” in this service area was UnitedHealthcare. No insurer was rated “excellent” in any service evaluated by the study.
In response to the findings, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said insurers “must step up and improve the quality” of their services. “This is hopefully a wake-up call for insurance companies. They are simply under-performing. People should be concerned.
The annual insurance marketplace in California is worth approximately $17 billion.